Complete your undergraduate degree with modest or no loan debt for tuition.
You’re confident that college is within your reach, and you’ve worked hard to prepare academically. You know that earning a college degree is an important factor in realizing your potential and improving your career opportunities. Still, you’re not sure about the steps to get there or how to pay for your education.
We created the Urban Scholars Initiative (USI) program to help
talented and dedicated students like you fulfill their dream of
completing a college degree.
You'll complete your undergraduate degree with modest or no loan debt
for tuition; however, USI is more than just a scholarship. Whatever you
need, whether it’s learning to manage your time, navigating
college life, or receiving tutoring help, the Urban Scholar's Initiative program helps you
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1. A high school graduate must have participated in and be recommended by an
approved collaborating organization (see list below).
2. Students who wish to apply for any USI donor scholarship must demonstrate financial need by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Learn how to submit the FAFSA from our Financial Aid Office.
3. Students wishing to participate in the
Urban Scholars Initiative must meet all of our criteria for undergraduate admission, including an appropriate level of
high school academic achievement and an acceptable SAT or ACT score. We strongly encourage you to apply to Lesley by the Early Action deadline – usually December 1 – for the next academic year; however,we encourage all applicants to complete the admissions and financial aid application process no later than February 15, which is the preferred regular decision deadline. Review our undergraduate application deadlines and learn how to apply to Lesley.
4. Once enrolled, all new students are required to participate in the USI Summer Transition Week, typically held during the second week of August (Sunday to Friday). During the week, you'll be able to get acclimated to the campus, bond with new friends, and learn what it takes to be successful in your college program and in life. Mark your calendar and don't miss out. (No exceptions. All students must participate.)
5. Once admitted to the university and
enrolled in classes, USI students must remain in good academic standing
and make satisfactory progress toward degree completion to
remain eligible for the USI scholarship and any other related
Several community-based organizations that provide youth with academic support, mentorship, scholarships, and other services have become our partners in the Urban Scholars Initiative. These participating organizations share our goal in helping under-resourced students gain access to, and succeed in, college.
Maritsa BarrosDirector, Urban Scholars Initiative (USI) firstname.lastname@example.org Housed within the Global Ed Center, USI helps first-generation students from diverse backgrounds fulfill their dream of completing a college degree. USI program director Maritsa Barros obtained a BA from UMASS Dartmouth in Psychology with a minor in African and African American History, and an MS in College Student Development and Counseling from Northeastern University, where she also worked in the Admissions Office, kicking off eight years of experience in college admission and recruitment in diversity. Maritsa is a long-standing member of National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) and New England Association for College Admissions Counseling (NEACAC).
Viviana SuavitaUndergraduate Admissions Counselor, Urban Scholars Initiative Specialistvsuavita@lesley.eduViviana was born to Colombian parents in Boston. She lived in East Boston as a child before moving to Ayer, Massachusetts where she graduated from Ayer High School and went on to attend Marist College where she graduated in 2008 with a BA in Communications. Her father completed college while Viviana was in high school and this helped her see the sacrifices and benefits that come with obtaining a college degree. This is her fourth fall recruiting for the Undergraduate Admissions office where she has traveled everywhere from New York to Florida. Viviana now recruits on the North Shore and in Metro Boston. She works one-on-one with students who qualify for the Urban Scholars Initiative.
"The program is empowering. It’s about managing yourself as an adult, but with someone always there to assist and guide you."
*Additional Scholarships: Many of the students who participate in this program and receive a USI scholarship will still face significant financial challenges. For those who demonstrate financial need greater than 50% of tuition, the university will actively engage in fundraising to establish an endowment that will provide donor-supported scholarships of at least $5,000 per student, per year. These special scholarships will be awarded to 10 students per year, on a competitive basis and will be available for the four years the students are eligible for the USI scholarship. It is our intention to increase the number of awards and the amount of the awards as more donor funding becomes available. Priority is given to students who complete the application by the preferred admission deadlines.
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